New study tracks changes in the Australian grocery shopper

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 25th March 2009

Australian consumers are currently spending more or the same on groceries than last year, can be swayed by well-placed advertising and prefer to shop in larger centres for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), according to new research commissioned by mall media provider Eye Shop.

Over 400 shoppers took part in the January survey, with respondents separated into a range of lifestyle stages: Young Person, Young Couples, Young Families, Older Families and Older Couples.

A key finding of the study was that the majority felt recent turbulence in the economy meant spending more on groceries due to less restaurant spend, with this being most pronounced in Young Families. In all, nearly half of those surveyed agreed that they go out less than previously and they see this continuing for some time.

Despite this, the majority of both family groups and singles felt primarily relaxed and comfortable about their status in the current economy. While limited differences between groups were noted, young and older singles are more likely to feel this way.

Sixty per cent of respondents said that they do their main grocery shop in large multi-purpose shopping centres, with the main reason cited that supermarkets in larger centres best cater to their FMCG shopping requirements.

“This study shows specific FMCG categories are currently performing up to 57 per cent better than when research has been conducted by EYE in previous years,” Michael Callaghan, General Manager, Eye Shop ANZ commented. “Seventy-one per cent said advertising in shopping centres suited the grocery category, with 55 per cent agreeing that advertising inside centres reminds them to purchase.”

The research established that consumers still believe they have control of their purchasing power, with changes made yet to negatively impact the quality of their lives or frequency of purchases. Additionally, 46 per cent of respondents indicated they were open to switching brands, implying a greater likelihood of engaging with in-store promotions and advertising activity.